Caister Academic Press

EBNA-2 in Transcription Activation of Viral and Cellular Genes

Bettina Kempkes
from: Epstein-Barr Virus: Latency and Transformation (Edited by: Erle S. Robertson). Caister Academic Press, U.K. (2010)


Epstein-Barr virus nuclear antigen-2 (EBNA-2) plays a key role in B-cell growth transformation by initiating and maintaining the proliferation of infected B-cells upon EBV infection in vitro. EBNA-2 is one of the first viral genes expressed after virus infection. By activating viral as well as cellular target genes EBNA-2 initiates the transcription of a cascade of primary and secondary target genes, which eventually govern the activation of the resting B-cell, cell cycle entry and proliferation of the growth transformed cells. The growth transformed B-cells exhibit a phenotype reminiscent of antigen activated B-cells. In addition, EBNA-2's anti-apoptotic activities protect the infected B-cell. The multiple mechanisms by which EBNA-2 exerts its function are reflected by the association of EBNA-2 with several cellular and viral proteins as well as a rapidly growing spectrum of activated cellular target genes. The finding that EBNA-2 and activated Notch signalling both converge on the cellular DNA binding and repressor protein CBF1 has raised the question, to which extent the functions of both proteins overlap read more ...
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